Doc Talk | Learning to walk again

Imagine being forced to learn how to walk as an adult with teenaged children.

That's what one woman had to do after she was pushed off a third-floor roof.

It's been a long road for Sandra.

She was pushed off the roof eight years ago and was in a wheelchair for four years.

Looking at her today, you'd never know it.

The term doctors use for the injuries Sandra Carabello is dealing with is "traumatic", and traumatic it was after she says her friend pushed her off a third-floor roof in Harrisburg in 2010.

That fall left her in a coma.

When she woke up, her legs were severely injured.

"Physically and mentally, I was damaged," Carabello said. "I was crushed."

"I think it was a combo of nerve damage really that then caused unopposed pull and basically contracture of the tendons on the inside," Dr. Michael Werner said.

She'd spent four years in a wheelchair, homeschooling her children for a while so they could take care of her.

Then she came into orthopedic surgeon Dr. Michael Werner's office.

"He saw me and it was like, 'I'm going to help you',"Carabello said. "You're not going to be the same 100% but I'm gonna make sure that I'm gonna get you to where you need to."

Before she even saw Dr. Werner, she had her ankles fused straight.

Then Dr. Werner performed two major surgeries, and additional procedures to remove the screws and hardware from her feet.

She's walking much better now.

"When you can straighten a foot out that is that severe and the foot is viable and the patient is thrilled and walking in sneakers and can get on with her life I'm always amazed," Dr. Werner said.

He says she's lucky she didn't need to be amputated.

"I'm independent more now," Carabello said. "I'm full of life right now because of him."

She still keeps her wheelchair at home, but not to use.

"I look at it and I'm like I'm glad I don't need you no more."

Sandra has undergone lots of physical therapy.

She may need more surgeries to relieve some of her pain, but her doctor says she's a million miles from where she was.

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